Sunday, February 12, 2006

Girls Raised by a Village

I Could Whine: Examining the plight of women under feminism
It is gratifying to receive emails from women in Europe who are sympathetic to what Gates of Vienna is saying about the plight of Islam’s women. Since I haven’t obtained their permission to thank them by name, my gratitude is limited to a group thank-you.

When the prime minister of the Netherlands takes Ayaan Hirsi Ali to task:

Premier Balkenende said Friday he wondered “whether this (Hirsi Ali’s speech) helps enhance the debate in the Netherlands”. He did not wish to say more because he is seeking “de-escalation”. Balkenende did say that Hirsi Ali’s plan for a sequel to her short film Submission is “her own responsibility”.

…you can’t help but compare him to the Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and his outspoken monarch, Queen Margrethe II.

Which brings us to a comparison between the plight of Islamic girls — vulnerable to gang rape, honor killings, acid-in-the-face retaliation, and severely circumscribed options (including forced marriage to cousins) — with the situation of American girls. “Trivial” doesn’t begin to describe the travails endured by adolescent American girls.

Here’s an example: recently, CNN featured an approving story about several young women who have formed an anti-abuse group for teenage girls, since purportedly they are the group “most vulnerable” to “relationship violence.” Translated from MediaSpeak to English, this means there are a number of girls being shoved around and intimidated by their boyfriends.

First, a description of one “victim’s” experience:

Shaina Weisbrot says she was 13 when she got into her first bad relationship. Some of the things her boyfriend would do: “Pulling my hair, shoving me, shaking me, covering my mouth with his hands, screaming at me in my face, driving so fast -- like a hundred miles an hour -- until I was crying and telling him to stop.”

She says it was a relationship based on fear: “I was taught to fear him.”

And here’s what her friend has to say:

…Carrie Speiser, 14 at the time, says her boyfriend was “controlling what I wore, who I spoke to, what I was doing. The phone calls became so constant that they were checking up on me.”

It then escalated from control to manipulation to physical abuse, she says. On one occasion, her boyfriend tried choking her with a T-shirt.

One mother’s account excuses herself in this way:

Carrie’s mother, Susan Schankler, tried to limit the amount of time her daughter spent with her boyfriend.

The strange thing is, she says, “Carrie at the time was getting straight A’s ... I couldn’t say, ‘Well I’m blaming your bad grades on the boyfriend.’”

The mother of another teenager, Katie Falco, says she was hurt but not surprised by her daughter’s choice.

“I raised my daughter to have a good heart,” says Lora Speiser. “I feel that’s what made her more vulnerable and more susceptible to someone. She didn’t understand that people really were trying to hurt her.”

So, you’re thinking, where are the parents of these children? Why is a 13-year-old in a car being driven a hundred miles an hour? When a mother says, “I raised my daughter to have a good heart,” you want to ask her, why did she raise a wimp? Sure, we need to teach our children compassion, and mothers often do that well. But we also need to teach them strength. Compassion by itself ends up as spinelessness. Strength by itself merely produces a bully.

If you read this sympathetically-written article, you will not see one father mentioned. Where are the fathers of these girls? Where are the fathers of these boys who confuse controlling behaviors with caring relationships?

Because the parents have abdicated their moral authority, these girls have founded a group called TEAR — Teens Experiencing Abusive Relationships. Though they have since gone on to college, the girls travel to schools in their area to “teach others how to avoid dating violence.”

I ask again, Where are the parents? The legislators, in particular Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), have solved the problem by sponsoring a resolution to make the second week in February “National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Week.”

Wonderful. First the kids have to take care of themselves. Then the government steps into the breach with busy-mouth work. Government solves social problems with high-minded resolutions.

How about this? How about we bring back the parents, especially the fathers, whom we seem to have shoved aside in the stampede for some grotesque “equality”?

What we need is: SPARN — Stop Parental Abdication Right Now.

And Sen. Crapo could propose a better resolution: “Bring Back Parental Authority Month.”

Perhaps our readers can supply even more cogent resolutions or acronyms.

8 comments:

hank_F_M said...

Dymphna

Back in the dark ages when I was that age.

First I knew my parents would smack me first and ask question later if I acted like the guys in that article. Probably, the best way to prevent things like that.

But the girls were taught that if a boy acts like that you wear some heavier shoes, stand back about 3 feet (depending on height) and kick him in the family jewels at least twice. There was a very low recidivism rate amoung those few boys who tried it.

I do realize that may not be viable option in a Islamic society, but we are not an Islamic socity.

Jauhara said...

I am interested in what we can do to help muslim women escape from the possibility of being an honor killing into a new life. I guess what I am asking is this: What are we doing to hide our new Jews in the attic while the gynocide against them continues?

Lucky said...

I'm not endorsing violence here...

But if I heard of my daughter being treated like that the guy would seriously have to fear for his life--at the very least bodily harm. And she's 6 now.

I am constantly floored by what I see teenagers wearing these days, or how they behave and are generally "on the loose." I'm 33--not an old fart by my standards. And I also think the whole rebel thing is fine--do whatever--but I am falbberghast at how little day-to-day interaction these parents have with their kids at such a young age.

I never had a question in my head where my mother was 24 hours a day. And she had a pretty damn good idea where I was.

Spend some friggin time with your kids, people. Fathers show your kids--both boys and girls--how to treat other people--both boys and girls. And when that is done....

Teach them how to defend themselves, and when it is appropriate (contrary to popular belief, it is occasionally appropriate) how to beat the living crap out whoever it is that is threatening them.

I'm not a counseller (obviously), but my guess is that these freaks seek out women that will allow themselves, for whatever reasons, to be treated this way. Hank had it right--one swift kick to the big boys and he'll think twice about it. And girls havin g the confidence, and ability, to do that will probably keep these guys at a distance.

Spill The Beans said...

Where are the fathers?

Why are girls willing to put up with this crap? My guess is...dads who are largely absent from their daughter's lives.

My daughter is 12 and has a *boyfriend*. He goes to her school and they eat lunch together. His name is Jesse. I know all about him because she's told me about him. I don't really have a problem with her liking a boy, although we have had many conversations about how men should treat women.

The one thing I really worry about is this: My ex husband treated me like crap, and he did it in front of my kids. It wasn't feminism that allowed this to occur because I grew up with 50s era parents (my mom never worked) and yet, there you go...i apparently didn't feel I deserved any better.

I think you are making an intellectual reach here. I agree, moms need to keep better tabs on their kids. But again, I'll ask:

Where are the dads? And what is their responsibility.

For every one of the girls in this story, I'll wager there is an absentee or unengaged dad.

Of course, my dad was highly engaged with me and was raised in a home with a SAH mom, and feminism didn't even exist when I was a kid, and yet, I allowed myself to be treated like crap for 12 years.

And maybe it was feminism that convinced me that I deserved better than a cheating, lying, SOB.

I dunno but I think your logic is faulty here.

Dymphna said...

Trouble in Shangrila--

I don't think we disagree. I'm asking the same question: where are the fathers in that story? Not even one is mentioned.

I had much the same experience as you the first go-around and when he left, he didn't do much in any consistent way for the kids.

Feminism in its early days gave me some hope. But it has devolved into a man-hating, p.c., bunch of shrews. That's why younger women brush it aside unless they're going to make feminism an academic career.

We are losing our boys and it's worrisome. Equality is fine, but girls now outnumber boys on college campuses. Not good.

And your 12 y.o. eating lunch at school with her boyfriend is charming. What a great way to learn the social ropes... But at 13, being driven 100 mph by an angry boy is another story, don't you think?

What surprised me about this story is that (a) the girls didn't tell the mothers, or (b) if they did, the mothers didn't seem to feel they had the moral authority to set limits. One of them felt she didn't have the right to, since her daughter's grades were good. Come again???

And (c) not only were no fathers quoted, but the reporter didn't even comment on the lack of dads. And now we have these girls going around to schools trying to save the younger ones. Do these schools have a clue? Shouldn't they be leading the cultural battle on this one?

As for the abusive relationship you got into and then had trouble extricating yourself: that's not your "fault" -- I worked in a shelter for women for years and have heard every story there is. Sometimes marriage is a lottery and when you end up with a plug nickel, you have to be very, very careful in how you choose to leave. The most dangerous time for a woman is when she leaves. She's safer when she stays (or returns) and takes it...

one time, running a self-help group, some of the women asked me to draw up a list of qualities or characteristics that would give a clue as to whether the guy they meet is "safe" or not. I gave a lot of thought to my list for a few weeks, wrote it down and then presented it to the group. But when I took it back, I realized my abuser had all those qualities. So I had to start over!

Life is one long learning, isn't it? We don't have answers, but if we're lucky the questions change.

Thanks for your comment.

Spill The Beans said...

Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm 40. I'm no man-hating feminazi. I believe in true love, and someday, I'd like to get married again, in spite of everything.

But I don't think men abdicate their parenting responsibilities because of feminism (though I do agree with you about what it's modern incarnation has become...a bunch of puling victims).

I guess I'm an old-school feminist...in fact, I wrote about it here: http://dubiouswonder.blogspot.com/2006/02/feminine-mystique.html

It isn't feminism that caused women to be ineffectual parents. I blame the baby boomers and their me-first gimme gimme attitudes personally.

of course, I can do that because I'm not a boomer (and I was married to one). LOL...when kids are screwed up, isn't it always someone else's fault?

Of course, bear this in mind...there have always been messed up kids. We didn't always have such a navel-gazing media constantly looking for and/or creating new stories.

These girls are likely the exception, and not the rule. For every girl like the one described here, I know dozens at my daughter's school who'd never allow themselves to be treated like this.

Dymphna said...

I agree -- these girls are in the minority. But it's the kind of eploitation the media and the feminazis excell in pushing.

Baron Bodissey said...

Trouble--

A man's point of view.

Fathers become absent nowadays because it's relatively easy to do so, and true father-intensive parenting is difficult and scary. A divorced father may be lonely and bitter, but he is also at least partially relieved to be out of the humdrum responsibilities and obligations of fatherhood.

It's relatively easy because:
A) Divorce is a lot easier than it used to be.
B) Getting laid is so much less likely to produce offspring, what with the pill and abortion.

Both A and B are in large part a result of the feminist movement, and were designed to liberate women.

But they were much more liberating for men, who get to have sex, skip the kids, and behave like adolescents up until time for prostate surgery.

It means that remaining in a family has become a conscious, personal, moral choice for a man. That's not always real easy to do, especially with the culture at large not enforcing the old norms, and God out of the picture for most people.

Just my 2¢ worth.

BTW, Dymphna and I are still married, 27 years. And yes, it was difficult at times. But I sure am glad I stayed in.